Giving Compass' Take:

• High rates of teacher attrition is a significant issue for school superintendents to address. Education experts offer a variety of different approaches to increase retention. 

• What can donors do to contribute to sustaining more teachers? 

• Read about the harmful effects of teacher turnover. 

As U.S. academic achievement lags behind competitor nations, school districts face a number of challenges — and quality teacher recruitment and retention remains among top concerns. A 2018 Gallup poll found more than half of superintendents (61%) chose teacher retention as the greatest struggle from a list of challenges facing school districts.

With ongoing teacher shortages and a high turnover rate quickly becoming a hallmark of the teaching profession, schools must find new ways to attract and keep quality educators.

Out of the teachers who voluntarily left their schools last year, 60% cited lack of career advancement or development as the primary reason for their decision to pursue other jobs.

As a way to bolster professional development and further the teaching continuum, Peggy Brookins, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), suggested during the NCEE event that creating a clear upward ladder for growth for teachers to pursue. Getting more teachers board certified, she said, can be a cornerstone of this career ladder.

However, board certification is only one rung on the career ladder. Every step up should also come with additional compensation, increased annually if board certified, along with opportunities for undertaking greater responsibilities and skills application.

Ultimately, creating a career lattice based on national board certification would not only create avenues for growth within the profession, speakers said, but it would also turn the career into one on par with high-esteemed professions that include similar certification processes, such as medicine, and may make the field more attractive to prospective applicants.

Study after study has shown that thorough teacher preparation can significantly reduce teacher attrition. However, U.S. school systems are working on a model opposite to top-performing nations. Instead of demanding that prospective teachers undergo rigorous training and preparation, schools are lowering their expectations from applicants.

Read the full article about teacher attrition by Naaz Modan at Education Dive.